“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the LORD swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 11:8-9)
I admit that within the last several months, I have not been diligent about exercise. Too much time at work, on the computer and not making exercise a priority has taken its toll on my body. Recently, I decided to make it a priority and take a Barre class. It essentially combines Pilates, yoga and ballet. There are muscles that I never knew existed that are awakening and letting me know how poor my core strength had been.
After just a few classes, I am feeling my core start to strengthen – and issues that had been plaguing me for a while are ironically starting to dissipate. Back pain, fatigue, weakness, posture are starting to improve. Imagine that! It seems so obvious to me now, but I hadn’t addressed the importance of keeping my core strong to affect the rest of my body.
My relationship with God is the same. I have been asking myself lately, how am I working to keep the core strength of my faith? Am I exercising the spiritual muscles of continual prayer, eating God’s Word daily, allowing the Holy Spirit full access to my life? During the times when I fall away and let other things in my life take priority over walking with Christ, I slowly start to feel the other areas of my life weaken. Anxiety and worry creep in, stress takes over, I slip into old habits that are not life-giving and I grow weary. But when I return to strengthen the foundation – the core – of my walk with Christ, I regain strength, stability, and faith.
In Deuteronomy 11:8-9, God is giving the Israelites a command in order to gain strength. It doesn’t just magically appear. How do they gain it? By observing the commands He has given. This takes active diligence on their part to make sure they are obeying Him, and not just doing what feels natural. Lying on the couch and doing nothing feels natural to me. Going to Barre class does not. Yet going to Barre class is the better choice if I want to strengthen my core.
I see Creekside going through a similar process of returning to work the core strength of the body. What are we about? What is our mission during this time and in this place going forward? What is God calling us to? During this transition time, we have the opportunity to focus on the core of what we believe, where we want to go, what we believe God is calling us to next. It will take hard work, some pain and persistence, but with a strong core, we can move forward and not be shaken. I personally am looking forward to what each person in the body will be able to contribute to strengthen the core of Creekside.
What about you? What can you do to strengthen your spiritual core today to grow closer to Christ? What can you contribute this year to the body of Creekside to help define and strengthen the core of who we are called to be during this promising time of transition?
Brandy can be reached via email here.